North Andover, Mass. — Watts Water Technologies today “cut the ribbon” on a multimillion dollar, 30,000 square foot foundry, an expansion to the Franklin, NH Facility of one of its operating subsidiaries, which produces products for many of its brands. New Hampshire state and local dignitaries, including Governor Maggie Hassan and Franklin Mayor Kenneth Merrifield, joined officials from Watts Water Technologies, Inc. to celebrate the occasion.
Tim O'Neil, vice president, Watts (center) is surrounded by friends from the press, who toured the new foundry during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The new Lead Free foundry reflects the company’s commitment to proactively meet the requirements of the “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act,” which goes into effect in January 2014. The law establishes new limits on the lead content in every pipe, fixture, and fitting used to convey water for human consumption. The company’s new foundry will produce Lead Free products exclusively.
“This is a great day for our company and its employees, our industry, and the Franklin community,” said Watts Water Technologies CEO and President David Coghlan, who noted that the new foundry will produce Lead Free versions of products already produced in Franklin, and additional products, as well. “It will enable us to be the ‘safe choice’ for Lead Free products, since we can eliminate the possibility of cross contamination of materials. It will also enable us to provide efficient and timely availability of products.”
Through the new foundry, the company is also supporting jobs in manufacturing. “In locating our Lead Free foundry in Franklin, we are supporting New Hampshire and U.S. jobs,” said Coghlan. “We are also recognizing our Franklin team, which has continually demonstrated their commitment to manufacturing excellence and innovation. We look forward to continuing to invest in Franklin and expanding this facility.”
New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan commended the company for the types of products produced, which contribute to public health and safety, and for the company’s educational efforts around the Lead Free initiative. She also complimented the Franklin workforce, noting that the work effort here is “extraordinary.” She added that the company is emblematic of the ingenuity found across the Granite State. “We can make great things here,” she said, “and share them across the world.”
Franklin Mayor Kenneth Merrifield noted how rare it is to have a manufacturing facility that lasts 50 years, such as the Watts Water Franklin Facility, and how quickly the new foundry came into being. He referred to meeting the development challenge as a “remarkable accomplishment” and added “congratulations to an absolutely fabulous company.”
Watt Water’s Franklin, NH Facility, which opened in 1959, has undergone 16 expansions since that time and has more than tripled in square footage. From about 30 employees in 1959, the Franklin workforce has since grown to more than 500 employees today. The Franklin plant manufactures and distributes products that go to U.S. retailers, OEMs, and wholesale distributors, and it is currently the company’s largest manufacturing facility in North America.